Norwich City boss Chris Hughton eager to hold on to Grant Holt
Norwich boss Chris Hughton has reiterated he wants captain Grant Holt to remain at Carrow Road.
Hughton – quoted by Skysports over the weekend – insists Holt has a future with the Canaries, despite the 31-year-old's well-publicised transfer request at the end of last season after failing to thrash out a new deal.
West Ham have been heavily linked with a move but Holt's representative Lee Payne indicated recently that fresh talks were planned when Hughton returns to work this week following a break in Florida.
The City boss has now revealed initial discussions have already taken place with Holt to keep the triple player-of-the-year – who has two years to run on his existing Norwich contract. Hughton was adamant he wanted Holt on board when he was first unveiled as Paul Lambert's successor earlier this month, and his position remains unaltered ahead of the first team's imminent pre-season return.
'I have spoken to Grant but not met him yet,' Hughton is quoted as saying yesterday. 'But when I get back I will meet with him and make it clear that I want him to stay.'
City chairman Alan Bowkett and chief executive David McNally have both publicly stated they want last season's 15-goal Premier League marksman to stay at Carrow Road and lead the club's top flight challenge again. Holt's original transfer request was swiftly rejected, with the player's representative subsequently stating the Hall of Famer was seeking an extra year as part of negotiations on a revised contract.
Premier League new boys West Ham have had two bids, believed to be in the region of �3m, rejected but reports last week claimed the Hammers were poised to launch a fresh �5.5m raid for the Cumbrian. West Ham's vice-chairman Karren Brady declined to confirm whether Holt was top of Sam Allardyce's wish list ahead of the Londoners' return to the big time.
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'It's not appropriate to comment on other people's players,' said Brady, speaking at Royal Ascot last week. 'We prefer to do our business face to face with the chairmen of other clubs, and that's what we'll do. We hope to bring in a few more significant signings to improve our team and increase our chances of remaining in the Premier League and really 'have a go'.
'Sam has made a very strategic plan. We have a comprehensive list of players we hope to bring in and we are working to do that.'